Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
We don’t know about you, but sometimes our hunger pangs can be solved by nothing except a big, juicy burger.
Even in its simplest form, there’s just something comforting about taking a sloppy bite out of meat slathered in burger sauce, slapped between two cushiony buns.
There are, frankly, too many restaurants serving burgers to know where to start – but which ones actually cut the mustard? We’ve eaten our way through the city and compiled a list of the best burger restaurants in London, because we’re nice like that.
The best burger in London:
Nowadays burgers can be anything but simple.
Beyond your bog standard fodder from McDonald’s and Burger King, in the UK’s capital alone, you can find ground sirloin injected with cheese, smothered with truffle and even tikka spiced, not to mention the incredible vegan selection on offer, too.
But where should you go first? Let us break it down…
Manna comes from Bake Street’s Feroz Gaija, and specialises in smash burgers and fried chicken – two very lovely things, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Available at the Arcade Food Hall in Oxford Street and Battersea, this place does the simple really well, and aims to emulate a US diner (but better). You can expect the likes of a hot jalapeño popper fried chicken with fresh jalapeño-infused honey to and beef smash burgers in steamed brioche buns.
A special moment for the waffle fries, too, which made us feel like we were a very happy kid again.
Burgers start at nine quid, and you can a Manna platter for £15, which comes with a burger, waffle fries, a Nashville tenders and pickles. Can’t argue with that, can ya?
Baba G’s is a street food stall selling burgers with Indian flavours, and they’re like nothing you’ve ever tried before.
Dubbed their Bhangra Burgers, all of their offerings are twists on your favourite curries, from lamb jalfrezi to tikka masala. Special mention to their Cheeky Tikka Chicken Burger which many have branded the best chicken burger in London – it’s made up of two chicken thighs marinated in tikka spices for 24 hours and then served with a cool mint raita and an onion bhaji.
Plus, veggies are in for a treat too. Their Paneer Saag Burger could easily rival most of the other dishes on the menu. Think thickly sliced, spiced Indian cheese layered between spinach, mint and coriander, and topped with a fruity tamarind sauce.
Popping up with stalls in Camden Market, London Bridge’s Vinegar Yard and Pop Brixton in South London, you can also find Baba G’s burgers in Parlez bar, Brockley, where they serve their menu to punters.
All burgers sit at around a tenner, and there’s the option to add sides like masala fries, too.
Burger and Beyond
Burger and Beyond first landed in Essex, but it’s now become nothing short of a London staple, serving up some of the best burgers in the city.
With restaurants in Soho, Shoreditch and Borough Yards, as well as a series of delivery only kitchens in and around London, if you haven’t tried one of their burgers yet, why on earth not?!
Burger and Beyond excel at doing the simple burger excellently. Their cheeseburger isn’t just a cheeseburger, it’s made with a proper dry aged beef patty, a smokey mayo and generous lashings of American cheese, and if that wasn’t enough, you can also get the Bougie Burger, layered with steak sauce, ‘marrownaise’ and beef fat onions. Drool.
Interested in trying one of London’s best vegan burgers? They’re here for that, too. You won’t find any soggy portobello mushrooms here. Instead, order yours panko crusted and injected with oozey plant-based raclette cheese.
Oh, and don’t sleep on the truffle tots, either. They take the humble tater tot to a whole new level.
Burgers range from £11.50 to £16.50, but fear not – they’re worth every greasy penny. There’s also a happy hour between five and seven on Monday-Thursday, where you can get certain drinks and food for as little as six quid. Bargain.
When it comes to meat, Hawksmoor’s reputation precedes it. It is, unquestionably, one of the city’s best steak spots.
But don’t sleep on their burgers, either, mind. At lunchtime, the restaurant serves a Hawksmoor Hamburger, which has pretty much reached icon status in the eyes of London burger enthusiasts.
Served rare, with the best cuts of Ginger Pig beef, dotted with bone marrow and topped with a choice of mild, creamy Ogleshield or a sharper, Stichelton cheese, this burger promises to be a melt in your mouth experience, which justifies the £18 price tag.
Expect to make a less than dignified mess… but that’s all part of the fun, right?! Beef dripping fries are strongly encouraged.
Beer and Burger Store
The name offers no surprises, but in case you weren’t sure, Beer and Burger Store is a casual spot, offering up craft beer aplenty and four, meaty burgers.
With outposts in Dalston, Willesden Green and Kings Cross, this restaurant isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just to do it well.
Ranging from £10-£13.50, menu options include a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, a bacon cheeseburger and a chicken burger (all served with the brand’s distinctive and illusive ‘goop sauce’). What’s in the goop? Honestly, we’re not sure – but it could be magic, because all of these burgers are pretty darn spot on.
You can make any burger vegan, too, as the chain has an array of meat replacements on hand.
Plus, the sides are equally as good as the burgers themselves, with everything from Korean Seoul Wings to Macaroni Bites to enjoy alongside your meal.
Serving New Orleans tea-brined, buttermilk coated crispy chicken burgers, Mother Clucker started as a street food truck at Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery in east London, but now has a bricks and mortar restaurant just north, in Islington.
With a perfectly finessed chicken recipe inspired by the Deep South, many would argue that this is another contender for the best chicken burgers in London, and a burger sits not much above the five quid mark, too.
Standouts include the Cluckin’ Hot (made with their famous chicken, American cheese, cajun marinated peppers, crispy lettuce, lime mayo and a fiery hot pepper sauce), and the Smokin’ BBQ (which features the same chicken without the spicy stuff, and with a healthy dose of smoky bacon and sticky bbq sauce instead).
Sides include cheesy fries and tater tots, and you can vegan-ify every burger, if you want, too.
Also in Islington is Four Legs, found at The Plimsoll pub, who have a panache for really good pub grub. Alongside the dishes like Lamb neck, tzatziki and a grilled hot pepper you’ll find the Dexter cheese quarter pounder … well worth including in any list of London’s best burgers.
When the same dish was served at chefs Jamie Allan and Ed Mcllroy’s previous pub residency, food critic Jimi Famurewa dubbed it “one of the best burgers I’ve ever had,” and let’s just say, he’s far from the only one to utter this.
Made with a Maccies inspired burger sauce, a Dexter beef patty and a hell of a lot of gooey cheese, there are no bells and whistles here, just good ingredients balanced well (read, dolloped on heartily). It’s a guaranteed dribble fest, as all good burgers should be.
A Dexter burger will cost you just over a tenner, and it’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list (again and again… and again).
Yen Burger turns the humble burger on its head, offering up Asian flavoured meat, fish and veg inside two milk buns.
Ranging from £9 to £13, highlights include the Yen Supreme (made with Wagyu beef, turkey bacon, Japanese herb shisho and pickles), and their Surf ‘N’ Turf burger, made with Aberdeen Angus beef, grilled king prawns, salad and sweet chilli and lime.
Plus, their veggie burger isn’t to be slept on if you like Katsu curry – it’s made with a crispy panko crusted pumpkin patty and healthy lashings of curry sauce.
Found in London Bridge, bang in the centre of the city, this is one to keep in mind when you can’t decide between Asian food or a big, meaty burger. Next time you’re faced with that conundrum, why not have both?!
Say goodbye to droopy bean patties This menu shows vegan burgers are far from boring.
The plant-based burger joint used to have a restaurant in Old Street, east London, but unfortunately it had to shut not long ago (sob). But fear not – you can still try their burgers for yourselves down at the Hard Rock Cafe in Oxford Street.
It includes their infamous Magic Mushroom burger (made with sriracha glazed breaded oyster mushrooms and topped with a hash brown, salad and sriracha mayo) and their Pulled Mooshies burger (made with slow cooked jackfruit, marinated in scotch bonnet peppers and served with crunchy slaw).
Naturally, the prices reflect the fact you’re at the Hard Rock Cafe, sitting at around £18 a pop. But these truly are some of the best vegan burgers in London.
Plus, you get a cheesy day out thrown in too!
It’s easy to bypass all burger chains in favour of London’s independent restaurants, but when you’re craving a really cracking burger, some simply do it right.
Exhibit A? Shake Shack. The American fast food restaurant not only bosses its standard menu – doing the simple cheeseburger really well and even offering veggies a breaded mushroom injected with oozey cheese – but it also regularly offers limited edition burger ranges, which often celebrate unique flavour combos from around the globe.
One such example is their one-off szechuan chilli menu, in collaboration with Fly By Jing, featuring crispy chilli cheesy fries and a chilli crisp chicken burger. Plus, they’ve previously joined forces with Sri Lankan restaurant, Hoppers, to create a cheeseburger topped with curry braised short rib.
Burgers sit at around a tenner, and are a solid option whether you want something reliable or fancy some fusion flavours. There are locations all around London. Find your nearest here.
So, there you have it, folks… our comprehensive guide of the best burger places in London. Whether you live in north, south, east or west, there’s something on this list for you.
From fusion burgers to top notch cheeseburgers to vegan burgers that could convert any carnivore, the city really does prove how versatile burgers can really be. There’s truly one to satisfy any craving.
Now, if you need us, we’ll be working our way through every burger on this list again. Wanna join?